Community Energy London (CEL) agree with the statement made by Minister for Energy, Claire Perry MP, in the House of Commons on 20 November 20181 , that: “I do completely agree that solar power should not be provided to the grid for free, and that is why I will shortly be announcing the next steps for small-scale renewables.”
CEL welcomes the publication of the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) and in particular supports the mandating of energy suppliers to offer small-scale generators a tariff for electricity exported off-site.
Due to the urban nature of the sites developed by CEL member, generation projects tend to be small, with solar installations typically ranging from 30kW to 100kW. Groups are examining prospects for larger sites, however, in most instances, these will be multiple installs over a number of buildings, rather than a single multi-megawatt ‘solar farm’ project.
London has significant potential for such installations – and the Mayor of London’s has committed to a 1GW solar PV target for London by 20302 – an approximate nine-fold increase of the current level of PV installed across the capital3. Analysis for the GLA has previously identified a technical potential for installed solar capacity across London at 12.4GW4. Rooftop solar projects of the size developed by community energy groups underperformed under the FITs programme as a result of how the policy was constructed: as such, London has the lowest level of PV capacity of any region in the country.